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Piers Morgan Tonight

News/Business. Interviews and current events.

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Us 10, Israel 9, Clinton 6, China 4, Obama 4, Iraq 3, Africa 3, Humana 3, Iran 3, Cgi 2, Dee Pock 2, Massmutual 2, Ireland 2, Libya 2, Bill Clinton 2, Tunisia 2, Washington 2, United States 1, Mcconnell 1, Ollie Bubba 1,
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  CNN    Piers Morgan Tonight    News/Business.  
   Interviews and current events.  

    September 30, 2012
    9:00 - 9:59pm EDT  

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still never be known. some secrets have already gone to the grave. tonight, the words of bill clinton, the 42nd president of the united states on the nuclear threat from iran. do you trust him? >> not on this, i don't. >> what he could say to mitt romney? >> if he's going double down on the 47% remark, it will cause difficulties. we know the overwhelming number of those people work and have children. >> president obama and the economy. how is he managed to avoid public retribution for not fixing the economy?
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>> it's not a normal thing. >> the extraordinary work of a clinton initiative. >> keep pushing the rocks up the hill. >> big ideas from the big names. dee pock chopra, things get lively at the global initiative. you want to make farming sexy, don't you? this is "piers morgan tonight." mr. president, thank you very much for sparing the time to talk to me. you are in the eighth year now, of the clinton global initiative. i would imagine all the world leaders you managed to amass here, there are a few topics of concentrated attention. probably right at the top of the list would be this simmering tension between israel and iran. now, i interviewed president ahmadinejad last night and he was adamant that he has no plan to build a nuclear weapon, that
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he has purely peaceful intention. clearly, most people here don't believe him. what is the smart thing for america to do right now, given the ratcheting up of the rhetoric on both sides? >> i think the smart thing to do is to maintain constant conflict with the israeli intelligent services and the arab intelligence services who don't want iran to have a nuclear weapon. saudi arabia doesn't want to have a nuclear weapon. the golf states don't want to. they don't want an arm's race in the middle east. then, i think that the other smart thing to do is just to say take the quote from president ahmadinejad and say okay, if you don't want a nuclear weapon, why won't you comply with the international communities inspection regime and keep saying it over and over again
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every single day, if you don't want a nuclear weapon, you have been given nine ways from sunday to prove that. a decade ago, the russians offered to take their material and process for them enough uranium to run a power plant. to run a number of power plants and to do it in a way that couldn't be taken to weapons. there are so many ways they can have a nuclear program that won't produce a nuclear weapon. so, what they are really saying is, in spite of the fact we deny the holocaust and threaten israel and do all this, we want you to trust us. in spite of the fact we won't cooperate with the international regime set up to avoid an arm es race in the middle east and set up to avoid nuclear
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proliferation, we want you to trust us. so, they don't have a position. >> do you trust them? >> i don't believe them because they don't have a position. >> do you trust ahmadinejad in. >> not on this, i don't? >> why should america be allowed nuclear weapons and israel. they never admitted they have them, why should they be permitted to have them. why should many countries be allowed them and not iran? >> why isn't he going for another initiative instead of acting like what he wants is a nuclear bomb because it will help to get everybody to get rid of their nuclear weapon. no serious person believes that. israel is not supporting hezbollah. israel doesn't send terrorists across syria to train in the valley in lebanon. israel -- no one thinks israel is about to drop a bomb on
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tehran. so, the difference is this is a government with a record of supporting terror and look, no one talks about this very much, but if they had a nuclear weapon, they would be too dangerous. even if you believe they would never use it. if you believe they are sane and rational and their country, their civilization would be destroyed if they dropped a bomb on someone because everyone would know it and the retaliation would be incomprehensible. even if you believe that, too bad things will happen. a lot of their neighbors will get bombs. the more of these weapons you have hanging around, the more material you have, the more it will be stolen or sold or transferred to terrorists. that brings me to the second
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point, which is that iran has all these extensive contacts with terrorist groups and even if the government didn't sanction it, it wouldn't be that much trouble to get girl scout cookies worth of material -- it's enough to take out 20% to 25% of washington, d.c. just that little bit. so, the prospect of spreading, in a way, dirty nuclear bombs with smaller payloads, they could wreak havoc and do untold damage goes up exponentially every time a country gets this capacity and you don't have any control over and you don't know whether they do, over what happens to the material. >> if israel was to launch an air strike against iran, a preempted strike because they believe, as appears to be the case that iran is right on the
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cusp now of developing a nuclear weapon, if they do that, what should america's response be? >> i shouldn't answer that question because of my wife's position. that's the president's team's decision to make. i generally have confidence in what they said explaining it to the american people. ahmadinejad knows that we have not picked this fight. we have not gone out of our way to get into a military confrontation. we have made clear red lines there. >> people will say this is reminiscent of iraq, you have a bad guy who is believed to be in the process of either developing or has wmd. we know what happened with iraq, that intelligence was flawed. can america, can the world experience another flawed action if it turns out ahmadinejad is
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telling the truth? >> first of all, it's very different from iraq. i personally never saw any intelligence that was at all persuasive on the nuclear issue. i wanted the inspectors to go in there for a simple reason, when the first gulf war was over, we began an accounting of all of saddam's weapons of mass destruction. it was chemical warheads and biological agents. in 1998, we kicked the inspectors out, there were two biological agents and two check cal agents, a substantial quantity unaccounted for. we bombed the u.s. and uk. after 9/11, i thought it was important for them to go in and find out whether we destroyed them or not. we later learned, when he was deposed that it was destroyed in
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'98 and he didn't want anybody to know because he thought it would weaken them. to me, there was no credible nuclear intelligence. this is quite different. they don't even pretend they are not -- they don't have central funlgs and can enrich uranium. they have gone up to the limit and they have the capacity to go well beyond what is necessary to generate the kind of material necessary to turn on the lights, to generate electricity. i think it's a very, very different thing. >> president clinton's main focus. we caught a splash on the campaign trail. when we come back, is it bias for mitt romney? [ woman ] it's 32 minutes to go time,
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a draw for leaders around the world. president obama and mitt romney both spoke at the cgi today. president clinton stole the show. the democratic national convention had tough advice for the republican candidate. >> mitt romney went down well with the audience. >> if there's one thing we have learned this election season, by the way, it is that a few words from bill clinton can do a man a lot of good. >> what words would you have for mitt romney, given the state of
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the election campaign right now? >> well, i think you know the debates are very important. >> crucial? >> i think so. and i think if he's gonna double down on that 47% remark, that will cause difficulties because we now know the overwhelming number of those people work and have children. the reason they don't pay federal income taxes is because the median income is as low as 1995. until the current election season, republicans and democrats supported both the child tax credit and the earned income tax credit. i doubled the earned income tax credit. it was signed under the tax credit. reagan started it. we started it with a strong support of republicans in congress. president bush dealt with that,
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then president obama increased the earned income tax credit for families with more than three children. this is a rejection of basically more than three decades of bipartisan policy to support working families. it's not a bunch of free loaders. there's only 4% of the total population who don't pay federal income tax and don't work and may not be looking for work. we now have the numbers on this, so, i think that most important thing for him is to find a way to relate to more people in these debates and speak to more of them. this is not the republican primary anymore. >> is he principled, do you think? mitt romney? >> that's not the issue, to me. i think he will -- i think he's principled in the sense that he will keep the commitments that
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he has made. almost all people when they run for president make a number of commitments. when they get elected, almost all presidents since modern studies have been done, the last seven or eight presidents, make an exceptional effort to do what they said they were going to do. when there's an exception to that, there's normally an overwhelming reason. abraham lincoln promised not to free the slaves. we're glad he didn't. reagan promised to balance the budget. we're glad he didn't try. almost every other president may have one smaller issue. but, by and large, they all do what they said they were going to do. yes, i think we should assume that he will be principled on that. he know what is he promised to do in the primary. and what he said in the general has been consistent with that. we should assume that is what he
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would do. >> under normal circumstances, the incumbent president with 8.2% unemployment, $16 trillion of debt, which he rose by $5 trillion, gas prices doubled, you wouldn't give that incumbent president much of a prayer in that election. the polls suggest that barack obama, right now, would win. how has he managed to avoid public retribution for not fixing the economy better than he has done? >> this is not a normal time. the damage done to the economy could not be fully repaired in four years. and most of the debt that's been run up on his watch is a direct result of the economic collapse. first the recession that began in 2007 and the economic collapse that happened in 2008, which has driven tax revenues below 15% of income for the first time in 50 years and
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driven spending above 21% of income because so many people are on unemployment and food stamps and medicaid, medical assistance. if we had, when the economy recovers, a higher rate of growth, which it will in a year or so, what's going to happen is nothing happen. tax receipts go up 17%. spending will drop to under 21%. there will still be a substantial deficit, but it will be smaller. president obama's main contribution to this $16 billion debt, which is a trillion dollar debt, a ten-year figure projecting out ten years was the stimulus bill, which is $800 billion, which i believe was a good thing to do. i think that might be bigger without it. it kept people working and paying taxes and off the government payrolls. because it created new jobs. if you look at his annual
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spending budgets, they are about 2% increase. that's less than the rate of inflation. so, i think that the reason that i believe he'll win re-election is we are beginning to recover. we have a higher rate of job creation since the recession bottomed out in the middle of 2009 than in the previous eight years. and, we are moving in the right direction and the policies he's advocated are going to produce good economic results. if people thought it was like another recession, he would be in trouble. it's not like another recession. they know it. >> people say the paralysis in washington, the inability to get in a room and get a deal done. i interviewed newt gingrich. he said the way it were with president clinton, you would be in a room full of advisers, you
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fling them out, it's you and him, get it done, compromise, get it done. why is that not happening now and what advice do you give to barack obama to try to get into that kind of mind set with the republicans? >> well, that's -- what speaker gingrich said is true, but it's not the whole truth. we had one year when virtually nothing got done. i was a stickler for passing my budgets on time. but, in 2005, we didn't. and i had to veto what they did. and they had to do what they did because that's what they promised the voters they would do in the '94 elections. then the citizens decided they agreed with me more than them. they don't want the government shut down or take a radical departure, just bring the deficit down. so after the two governments shut down in late '95 and early
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'96, then we began the compromise talks everyone talks about. there's been no forcing event so far. it's what the election is. mark my words, if president obama wins this election, i think he will, i really do believe he'll win, there will be a lame duck session of koncongr. they will either pass multiyear budget then or agree to conditions to keep the government going while they work on the budget in the next couple months after the election. you will see a much higher level of cooperation because their number one goal, the republicans was as senator mcconnell said was to defeat the president. that's not their goal anymore because he can't run anymore. i believe their number one goal
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will be either to make progress or hold on to the majority, which they can't do without making progress. then you will see both sides begin to compromise, and work together. you will see this law jam break. >> when we come back, the question we have been asking. bill clinton's big speech at the democratic convention. yeah, that's the wa >> i was young. perhaps i could have done another term. . a little bit more vanilla? this is great! [ male announcer ] at humana, we believe there's never been a better time to share your passions... because the results... are you having fun doing this? yeah. that's a very nice cake! [ male announcer ] well, you can't beat them. [ giggles ] ohh! you got something huh? whoa... [ male announcer ] humana understands the value of spending time together that's a lot of work getting that one in! let's go see the birdies. [ male announcer ] one on one, sharing what you know. let's do it grandpa. that's why humana agents will sit down with you,
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>> i have come to cgi every year sinsz i have been president. i talked about how to sustain the economic recovery, how to gain more jobs, the fight against hiv aids to the growth that lifts nations to prosperity. >> let's talk about the clinton global initiative. it's turned into an extraordinary event, unbelievable lineup of speakers. what is the purpose going forward for you? you have turned it into one of the world's leading events of its type. what do you want to achieve? when you sit down, the next ten
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years -- >> what i tried to do, when i started, i said i'm going to give it ten years and see where we are, if we can last ten years. i tried to create a global network of givers to bring in public leaders here for the opening of the u.n. to bring in business leaders and philanthropists and leaders of nongovernmental groups across america and the world. every year, we fly a number of people in who couldn't afford to be here. they sit together in working sessions and develop commitments and we help, we work all yearlong to help people develop these commitments and help people keep them. so, it's an organic sort of networking thing now that goes on and on and on. yesterday, i went to one of our working groups on haiti.
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we helped each other to keep these commitments and kept score. this is what we have done. this is what we haven't done. i think that until there is some other mechanism through which this can happen, we should keep doing this. because you know, nobody is running for anything. we don't have to produce miracles, all we do is produce progress. we keep pushing rocks up the hill. i think there's a real need for that in the world today. it can't all be done over the internet. there needs to be face time and help people keep the commitments. >> people see you putting on this event. they heard you make an incredible speech. >> if you want a winner take all, you are on your own society, you should support the republican ticket. but, if you want a country of shared opportunities and shared responsibility, we are all in this together society, you
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should vote for barack obama and joe biden. >> i was there. you electrified the place. they all say why do we have the 22nd amendment. why couldn't bill clinton run and be president for the next 30 years? >> we have it for good reasons. it's a hard job being president. you also have vast array of people working for you. it worked, i think, well. i think we did the right thing to keep president roosevelt for a third term. when he died shortly after being elected to a fourth term and people didn't really know a full measure of his health challenges, the 22nd amendment passed. it's ironic at a time people thought the democrats had a lot in the white house. then it was, then after the last 50 years, the republicans had it more than the democrats.
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but, i think there's still an argument for saying that eight years, certainly eight years in a row is enough. you don't want this -- you don't want to run the risk of sclerosis in a democratic society. you don't want to give the idea that any country, particularly this one as big and diverse is dependent on any one person. look at the dictators that have been deposed in the last few years and the few hanging on. almost all of them were young and idealistic and incredibly capable. they really meant to do something good. they just kind of outstayed their welcome. i love the life i have now. i like helping the president and my country. i'm interested in politics but i like what i'm doing.
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i think on balance, the system we have is better than the no limits. maybe some day, the rules will be changed. so, if you can serve two years and lay out a term or two, you could run again because for a simple reason. we are all living so much longer and we are maintaining a capacity to work and think clearly for longer period, so, some future people might be affected by that. it shouldn't affect me or anybody who has been president. >> trying to change the rules in britain. if you can't be president here, we would like you to be prime minister in our country. >> the only two countries i'm eligible to run for leader hip is if i move to ireland and buy a house, i can run for president of ireland because of my irish heritage and because i was born in arkansas, which is part of
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louisiana purchase, any person anywhere in the world that was born in a place that ever was part of the french empire, if you move, if you live in france for six months and speak french you can run for president. however, i polled very well in a french presidential race. i said this is great but that's the best i would ever do. once they heard my broken french with a southern accent, i would drop in single digits within a week and be toast. i don't think, anyway, that's what i think. i think the system we have may have some opportunity costs. i was young. perhaps i could have done another term. i think al gore was going to win. i wanted him to win. i thought he would be a good president. i still think so. the thing that's kept america going is that we have trusted the people over the leaders. i love my life now.
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convincing global initiative takes ideas from world leaders and celebrities. i spoke with president clinton, then sat down with my panel. health and wellness guru, deepak chopra and retired general, wesley clark. let's start, princess, let me start with you. you are a fascinating lady in many ways. you come from saudi where you are in the vanguard of promoting women's rights in a country that's not been renounced for that. how important is it to you to be doing this in saudi arabia? >> i think women's rights not only are, like you said, what we
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need to focus on, but in the region. i think the strongest form of empowering women in the region, more specifically saudi arabia is economic independence. once a woman is counting on herself, she will not put up with a lot of things you see in the media. if you are talking numbers, a lot of people focus on women and driving in saudi arabia. not being able to drive has not stopped us. $120 billion worth of real estate are owned by women. bank account savings are for women. 8 billion in investments pumped by them. they go to work and are passional about what they do. driving has not stopped them. if you want to help women in the region, economic ind pen debs, i can never under line that, focus on it.
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>> the middle east is a huge importance, i talked to president clinton about the ratcheting up between israel and iran and what that may do to the region if they did have a conflict, what it would do to the global economy. what is your overview at the moment of where we are and is war likely or common sense prevail, you think? >> i believe common sense will prevail. it's going to be tough. every state in the region. you have external dynamics and sbenl. it's the case in iran. they have to find a way to climb down from their quest for nuclear weapons, but throughout the region, there's a search for modernization for jobs, for dignity, for self-respect. they have to create political systems. they have freedom now and freedom of expressions in state that is haven't had it before. this imposes responsibilities on
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ordinary citizens to set the right standards. they are unhappy people and people struggling in the world, including america. we have to have a more sophisticated understanding of the region. we have a roll to play there. these people are responsible for their own countries and finding their own way forward. we have to help but they can do it. >> we see an extraordinary change. i joined cnn on air january last year. i was hit by tunisia, egypt, libya, the death of bin laden. the arab spring seemed to bring such excitement. we are looking at a murkier picture, not quite sure what is going on. what can america do, if anything to hasten or to change the current process? >> it should inspire hope, trust, stability and compassion. i think people look to america as a leader. if we can inspire stability and compassion with prakt
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>> caller: things like the princess said, economic department of women. everyone knows in the united nations it's the fastest way to change the world in the direction of not only peace, but social justice, economic justice, sustainability, health and well being. it's 50% of the population of our planet for the most part. >> i was talking to the general, he was saying the impact of having musicians come to this initiative here really cannot be underestimated that you can get to the huge audiences who hang on your every word. i know you take that responsibility seriously, globalization is here and is real. there's a sense, i think for many americans, we don't want global policemen with the terrible toll and the loss of life to our soldiers and economically. >> yeah, well, this transparent world we live in now, america has to realize now we are a part of the world. we are not leaving the world.
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we do, in some shape or form, but when it comes to education, we are not. we are dead last when it comes to education. as the world becomes more technological, 20 years from now, what is america? when you didn't even educate the people to understand the technology we are relying upon? so, you know, if you go to ghettos, i survived and escaped the ghetto, moved my whole family out. people in the ghetto have no clue where we are going technologically. stem is the future. it's what we need to get the 7-year-olds geared upon. get them excited about stem because that's sustainability as well. it's a different type of sustainability, it's educating people to walk into the world where they can contribute and participate in this global community year 2040. >> the common thread throughout
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the middle east and america is a lot of young people who have had perhaps education they couldn't have had before in many middle eastern countries. they are better educated. there's no job at the end of the line. it creates frustration. so much that you have seen a lot of leaders toppled. i'm sure there's more to come. what is it that leaders and countries need to adopt to try to stop this horrible cycle now of a youth who just feel disenfranchised and not able to fill the potential? >> economic development. when you have young people who have amazing ideas, entrepreneurial spirit, 60% of those jobs will be through entrepreneurs. you don't have pbanks that believe in them, incubators and mentors to help. when you don't have the
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ecosystem, add to that the government that is have fallen, all these issues at the same time, it's not going to be easy. but, you know, it all takes action. we are taking action. we are starting an initiative that's not just about job creation and helping entrepreneurs grow, it's about having ladders of opportunity. it's what opportunity is about. we are working with partners, we are working with the clinton global initiative and we want to tap into the resources of partners around the world and create the ladders of opportunity. we have an idea. it's very interesting. >> this is great. this is a food university. it's total utopia. you want to make farming sexy, don't you? >> i told him we want to make farming cool again and, you know, what's happening with farming is that the average age of farmers is 60. can you imagine that? we are trying to bring cool back
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to farming through this university. we are talking everything from the minute you plant a seed to the minute it gets served on a plate. we are bringing people from around the world. we want to have it in africa. 60%, we have to believe people coming in three decades. how are we going to feed them? 60% of amazing crops are stuck in africa and unused. we want to tap into that. we want to have it in africa in the best way possible. it's about technology, agriculture, making farming cool again where young people come into the field. we cannot afford for young people not to be interested. >> you want female drivers for the tractors? >> hopefully, yes. >> my all-star panel, can this country do better? speaking of all-stars, look at that all-star audience, including barbra streisand.
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dee pock chopra and they are up on health, you are about health and wellness. that's important. having this population, if they are not healthy, not if you want to go today, you can check out the well-being of any country in the world as of this moment. so the united states is number 13 at the moment. number one is denmark. number two is canada, and then -- >> why are the danes so healthy? >> because they have social security and they are not worried about health insurance and they are looked after, and they are not greedy and they all don't want to become billion airs. here is what we found.
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this is very important. we classify people on a scale of 1 to 100. if your score is over 70, you are thriving. if your score is 40 to 70, you are struggling. if it's less than 40 you are suffering. when the country starts to suffer, you are going to see revolution, social unrest, and break down of leadership. so we knew what was happening in libya, and we knew what was going to happen in tunisia. it's the number one indicator -- >> let's turn to your area here. again, i told you about this, but there's a brilliant scene in "the newsroom" this year, where jeff daniels is the anchor man, if you like, and he goes into a huge rant at a college lecture about where america has been failing and he starts to list all the areas in which america is painfully low on the global
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list of whether it's science or engineering or technology or whatever it may be. what has happened to the american dream that has allowed things to get so low in so many key areas. why is the rest of the world overtaking and what should be done about it? >> i think it's priorities and values and greed, really, and at the end of the day, it's greed and lack of leadership to the point why i don't see how it makes so much sense how we spend so much money on prisons versus education, and that doesn't make any sense to me at all. i don't see why we can't manufacture things in america. i don't -- i don't get it. >> i want to pitch in on manufacturing for just a second. one of the problems that we have with american manufacturing is we're an older manufacturing economy, and we are used to paper orders and contract
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processes and other things. if you go to china and have a network like ollie bubba. we know that we can move more into the internet age with our manufacturing in our bidding and ordering process. >> is china the enemy that many americans see it as or should it be a global trading partner to mutual benefit? >> we live in a very diversed world and we need to embrace that. if china is excelling something, that's great, and guess what? america is excelling is ecology as well. and it's a bubble that can bust at anytime, and many people are stuck in the factories for hours doing the same thing for years. working where people can strive to have better jobs with better lives. i am not against a certain country or nation excelling is
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something. i am embracing that. >> but at the same time, you know, countries are going to do what they do. but america has to figure out what it is we are. we are our own enemy right now. somebody still has not told me why we spend so much money on prisons and not education? why does it go -- >> because prison is a better business. it's a private enterprise. >> who said that was okay? just answer -- >> i agree. >> who said drones were okay? >> who? >> who said drones were okay. who said economic injust sis okay. who said 50% of the world is living on less than $20 a day, and 20% less than $1 a day. >> one day i am in brazil and the next day i go to little
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nuggets, kazakhstan, and the majority of the people in prisons are latins and african-americans. >> that's true. >> from my community, where i come from i have to bring stem to them, i have to steuimulate them not to take that route. it's a national security issue. america, the department of defense needs educated americans around stem. if we are not educated, and the private sector says prisons is big business and education isn't, that is messed up. >> just to echo what we're all saying, i am all in favor of stem education, but think of the high school dropout problem in the america, 28% of people are not graduating. >> seems to me the teachers are not paid enough and not trained
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well enough. >> this is the cradle of innovation. twitter, google -- everything you can think of, it came from apple and -- it's coming from here. you go -- this is where the republicans need to address immigration policies. you go to a college campus, and you will see people from korea, china, and you will see people from asia and latin america, and this is the country that everybody criticizes and yet wants to immigrate. >> that's all for us tonight. good tonight. [ male announcer ] every day, thousands of people, like you, are choosing advil®
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